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Andy's Workshop > Project 2: Creating a Sharper Image

Project 2: Creating a Sharper Image

Skills and Tools: Multiple Layers, Blending Modes, Layer Opacity, and Paint Brush

In the world of photography, not everything has to be in focus. In fact, smart photographers know that placing image elements out of focus will help to draw the eye to the focused areas. However, there are times when you will take a photograph and the image was accidentally, not intentionally, out of focus (I hate it when that happens). Photoshop has several filters that help you create a sharper image. As a matter of fact, Photoshop has five sharpen filters: Sharpen, Sharpen Edges, Sharpen More, Smart Sharpen, and Unsharp Mask. Of these filters, Smart Sharpen (), and Unsharp Mask are considered the two most powerful sharpening filters. Unfortunately, all the sharpen filters have one major flaw; they do not separate the sharpening effects from the image, as in an adjustment layer. So, when you click the OK button, you're stuck with the results. That's not necessarily a bad thing; however, there is another way. The technique you're about to learn for sharpening an image does not require any of the sharpening filters, its effect on the image creates a more believable sharpening effect, and the changes to the image are contained within a separate layer. That gives you the control you need to be creative, and get the best visibly pleasing sharpening results possible.

The Project

In this project you'll take an out-of-focus image and sharpen it by creating an editable sharpening layer. Separating the sharpening adjustments from the image, gives you creative control over the entire process.


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